Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016

Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Murkowski seeks funding for deep-water port in Alaska

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.

When President Obama was in Alaska last year, he said he wanted to advance plans for a deepwater port in the Alaskan Arctic, possibly in Nome. Today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski followed up on that with the head of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Why Alaska Republicans chose Cruz (and Trump, too)

Zachariah Hughes, Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska’s Republicans have chosen Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as their presidential candidate — bucking the trend on a night when Donald Trump took seven states. Cruz received more than 36 percent of the vote, with Donald Trump taking about 34 percent.

Legislature proposes new state bank

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

Two Democratic state legislators are proposing a state bank. Fairbanks Representative Scott Kawasaki and Anchorage Representative Chris Tuck say House Bill 364 would help fill state coffers and aid small business.

Alaska’s credit downgraded from AAA to AA1

The Associated Press

The Moody’s credit rating agency has downgraded Alaska’s credit rating, affecting more than $744 million of outstanding general obligation bond debt.

Lack of snow shortens Iditarod start from 11 to 3 miles

The Associated Press

A lack of snow in Alaska’s largest city has led the world’s most famous sled dog race to shorten its ceremonial start this weekend.

Warm winter changes nature of seal hunting

Emily Schwing, KNOM – Nome

The warm winter has extended far north of Anchorage as well. The spring season for bearded seals, or ugruk, has come nearly two months early for some hunters in Western Alaska.  Warm weather makes the hunt a little easier, but locals are concerned about precarious sea ice and unpredictable weather.

In Anchorage education lottery, lots of winners

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

It’s school lottery time in Anchorage. That means parents who may want to opt out of their neighborhood school are considering optional and charter school programs across the district. But at least one neighborhood school principal says charter schools and neighborhood schools aren’t necessarily so different.

A new generation walks for sobriety in Kwethluk 

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Tired of seeing families and children harmed from alcohol and drug use, a group from Kwethluk organized a march for sobriety through the streets of their community on Wednesday. Leading with a sign saying, “Enough is Enough,” new voices spread their message through the village.